We’re on our way! Members of Pershore WI and Pershore Heritage & History Group are celebrating the award of £10,000 each from the Heritage Lottery Fund First World War: Then and Now programme.
This means that we can now get cracking on our research and events programme to find out more about life in the Vale during World War One. Over the next year, each group will follow a particular theme:
Pershore WI members will celebrate the centenary of their branch, founded in November 1916 as one of the first Women’s Institutes in the county. They will uncover the lives of its original members, including Viscountess Deerhurst of Pirton, Mrs Beynon, wife of the manager of the Pomona Jam Factory, and the wives, daughters or servants of engineers, bricklayers, tradesmen and market gardeners in the area.
Pershore Heritage & History Society will be investigating ‘How the Pershore Plum Won the War’. The fruit and vegetables grown in the Vales of Evesham and Pershore were essential to the nation’s food production. Many local residents combined market gardening and fruit growing with other trades such as pub landlord or wheelwright.
Supported by Professor Maggie Andrews, students from the University of Worcester, the Voices of War and Peace World War One Engagement Centre, Pershore Library staff and Pershore Town Council, we will work with artists, an oral historian and a film-maker to record our discoveries, and have a year’s worth of exciting events and activities planned.
We also plan to produce touring exhibitions, a WW1 Pershore Town Trail and films of Food Preservation Demonstrations. We will also host a number of craft activities for children in the local library and other public events.
A book based on our research, How the Pershore Plum Won the War, will be published by the History Press and available for sale in time for the Pershore Plum Festival in 2016.
For further information about World War One in the Vale or to get involved, follow our blog using the subscription box on the right or contact us to to find out more.